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Teaching development for doctoral students: what can we learn from activity theory?

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Abstract:

This paper explores issues relating to programmes for doctoral students wishing to gain experience of, and develop skills in, teaching. The focus is on “Developing Learning and Teaching” - a new provision at the University of Oxford. The purpose is to exemplify how activity theory can be used to situate particular programmes and individual experiences in a wider systemic setting. The authors explain the concepts of the activity system, and use these to identify systemic tensions (analysing university-wide survey data), then to assess whether the provision has addressed these tensions (analysing data from interviews with participants). Cet article explore les questions soulevees par les programmes destines aux doctorants interesses a acquerir une experience d'enseignement et a developper leurs competences d'enseignement. Le centre d'interet est place sur << ┬źDeveloping Learning and Teaching┬╗ >> - un nouveau cours offert a l'universite d'Oxford. L'objectif est de demontrer comment la theorie de l'activite peut etre utilisee de facon a situer des programmes specifiques et des experiences individuelles dans un contexte systemique plus vaste. Nous expliquons les concepts du systeme d'activite et utilisons ceux-ci de facon a identifier des tensions systemiques (par l'analyse de donnees recueillies par questionnaire a la grandeur de l'universite), puis evaluons si le cours cible ces tensions (par l'analyse de donnees recueillies par entretien aupres des participants).

Keywords: activity theory; doctoral education; teaching development

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13601440802242358

Affiliations: Department of Education, University of Oxford, UK

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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